Dr Michelle Cocks is a research officer at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Rhodes University in Grahamstown and has recently completed her doctorate on Wild Resources and Cultural Practices in Rural and Urban Households in South Africa. Her research experience has included work on the medicinal plant trade in the Eastern Cape (1994-2000), domestication of indigenous medicinal plants (2002-2005) and natural resource use and the cultural significance of plants (2001-on going). In 2009 she received the prestigious Achiever Award for Woman Researcher in the category Indigenous Knowledge Systems from the Department of Science and Technology. 

Tony Dold, a plant taxonomist, ethno-botanist and photographer, is the curator of the Selmar Schonland Herbarium at the Albany Museum in Grahamstown. Together with Michelle they have documented Xhosa medicinal plants, ethno-veterinary plants and plants used in Xhosa religious ceremonies. He is a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) and is actively involved in education and conservation programmes.

In 2009 Tony and Michelle were awarded a certificate in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in the category “preserving customs and traditions” by the Provincial Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts & Culture at the annual Achievers Award Ceremony. 

Our logo: is Gasteria bicolor, a succulent plant called intelezi in isiXhosa. Intelezi plants are grown around the home as charms against ill fortune. 

South Africa Netherlands Programme
 for Alternative Development (SANPAD)
National Research Foundation (NRF)
Rhodes University Joint Research Council (JRC)
International Foundation for Science (IFS


Euphorbia traingularis - umhlonhlo


       Gasteria bicolor - intelezi